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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jan 3;272(1):271-9.

The p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade is determinant in mediating activation of the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE1 isoform) in response to growth factors.

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Centre de Biochimie, CNRS, Université de Nice, France.


The ubiquitously expressed Na+/H+ exchanger NHE1 is the target of multiple signaling pathways, including those activated by tyrosine kinase receptors, G protein-coupled receptors, and integrins. The intracellular pathways leading to activation of NHE1 are poorly understood. To gain more insight into these activation pathways, we examined the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) as potential mediators of NHE1 activation by extracellular stimuli such as growth factors and hyperosmotic stress. Whereas p44 MAPK does not appear to phosphorylate NHE1 in vitro, we found that inhibition of the p42/p44 MAPK signaling by expression of a dominant negative form of p44 MAPK, by expression of the MAP kinase phosphatase MKP-1, or by inhibition of MAPK kinase 1 (MKK1) with the PD 98059 compound reduced by 50-60% NHE1 activation in response to growth factors. This inhibitory effect also was observed in C-terminal NHE1 deletion mutants in which the major phosphorylation sites have been deleted. Furthermore, the use of a CCL39-derived cell line expressing an estradiol-regulated form of oncogenic Raf-1 (CCL39-deltaRaf-1:ER) revealed that the exclusive activation of the Raf --> MKK1 --> p42/p44 MAPK cascade was capable of inducing NHE1 activation to the same extent as potent growth factors like thrombin. Together, our findings demonstrate that the p42/p44 MAPK cascade plays a predominant role in the regulation of NHE1 by growth factors, an action that is mediated via accessory proteins that remain to be identified. In contrast, we found no evidence in favor of the contribution of any MAPK, p42/p44, p38 MAPKs, and Jun kinase, in NHE1 activation by osmotic stress.

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